Author Archives: Christopher Shelley

About Christopher Shelley

Christopher Shelley teaches American history and American Indian history at Portland Community College. He is fond of border collies, and bleeds Dodger-blue. Any and all opinions expressed here are those of the expressors themselves, and in no way represent the views of Portland Community College.

Secession, the Expansion of Slavery, and Race

The inimitable defender of Confederate heritage, George Purvis, who blogs at Cold Southern Steel, posted a comment here recently that I think warrants a post of its own. In part, George wrote: You are taking a narrow view of the … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War, Neo-Confederates, Secession, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 65 Comments

Slavery and Secession: The Daily Show’s Take

Because I am buried in Midterm essays–yet again–in my Summer online courses, I don’t have time to make a proper entry. But since the topic has come up in the comments, I figured this is an excellent time to show a nice … Continue reading

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“We Must Disenthrall Ourselves”

“We Must Disenthrall Ourselves” In an interview promoting the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln, Daniel Day Lewis discussed how he read Lincoln’s speeches as a way to prepare his epic performance. In particular, Day Lewis told the interviewer, he was surprised … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War, Lincoln's Words, Slavery | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Yes, Slavery Did Cause the Civil War, Part 4

Slavery and Society The Confederate states seceded, then, because they suspected Lincoln and the North would, sooner or later, abolish slavery. They clearly dreaded the end of slavery. I trust the previous posts have shown this, but there’s one last … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War, Secession, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , | 153 Comments

The Real Lost Cause

Because I’m up to my eyeballs grading midterms, I haven’t had a chance to finish my series on slavery as the cause of the Civil War. So, to entertain readers in the meantime, here’s a video of a talk by … Continue reading

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Yes, Slavery Did Cause the Civil War, Part 3.

Slavery and Power Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution reads: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding … Continue reading

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Yes, Slavery Did Cause the Civil War, Part 2

The Ultimate Basis of Slavery But to begin at the very beginning, it is important to remember something I always tell my students: first and foremost, above and beyond all other considerations, slavery is based on violence. It is impossible … Continue reading

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Yes, Slavery Did Cause the American Civil War

Slavery as the cause of war The central pillar of the Lost Cause Myth is the notion that somehow slavery was not the ultimate cause of the Civil War. While this seems laughable on its face, the fact remains that … Continue reading

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Confederate Invincibility and the Campaigns of 1864

Originally posted on Student of the American Civil War:
This was Jason Phillips’ presentation at the Bridgewater College Civil War Institute symposium on the 1864 Valley Campaign, held March 29, 2014 at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia.  Jason is the…

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Secession and the Constitution

Was Lincoln Right? In December of 1860, the state of South Carolina held a special convention to answer a monumental question: should South Carolina secede from the Union, and remove itself from its brethren, becoming a fully independent nation? On … Continue reading

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